Theory into Practice: An Introduction to Literary Criticism / Edition 2

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 34%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $4.73
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 96%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (8) from $4.73   
  • Used (8) from $4.70   


This brief, practical introduction to literary criticism combines a chronological presentation of important theories with relevant fiction, poetry, and nonfiction selections to bring those theories to life. Remarkably engaging, the text makes even complex concepts manageable for those beginning to think about literary theory, and sample analyses for each type of criticism show how real students have applied the theories to works included in the anthology. Updated with the latest scholarship, Theory into Practice provides you with an essential foundation for thoughtful and effective literary analysis.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781413033403
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning
  • Publication date: 2/26/2008
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 345
  • Product dimensions: 6.47 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

Ann B. Dobie is Professor Emerita of English at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where she directed graduate studies in rhetoric and the university's writing-across-the-curriculum program. She is the author or coauthor of six college writing textbooks, compiler and editor of three literary anthologies, and author of numerous articles on literature and composition. Her latest books are WIDE AWAKE IN THE PELICAN STATE: CONTEMPORARY LOUISIANA STORIES (available in 2007) and FIFTY-EIGHT DAYS IN THE CAJUNDOME SHELTER, which will be available in early 2008. For 13 years, she served as director of the National Writing Project of Acadiana. She is now State Coordinator of the Louisiana Writing Project and a consultant to the National Writing Project.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     xiii
To the Student: An Introduction to Theory into Practice     xv
The Relationship of Reading and Writing     1
Reading and Writing in College     1
Engaging the Text     2
Adding Marginal Notations     3
Keeping a Reading Log     3
Using Heuristics     5
Shaping a Response     5
Determining a Purpose and Understanding Forms of Response     6
Answering Essay Questions     6
Writing Research Papers     7
Knowing Your Audience     8
Choosing a Voice     8
Helping the Process     9
Collaboration     10
Reference Materials     11
Summing up     12
Suggested Reading     12
Familiar Approaches     14
Conventional Ways of Reading Literature     14
A Social Perspective     14
The Effects of Genre     19
Conventional Ways of Writing about Literature     23
Explication     23
Analysis     24
Comparison and Contrast     24
Study of a Single Author's Works     25
Summing up     25
Glossary of Terms Useful in Conventional Criticism     25
Suggested Reading and Resources     26
Model Student Analyses     26
"Between Gloom and Splendor: A Historical Analysis of Hawthorne's 'Young Goodman Brown'"   Meghan Harmon     26
Formalism     33
Historical Background     33
Russian Formalism     35
Reading as a Formalist     36
Form     36
Diction     38
Unity     40
What Doesn't Appear in Formalist Criticism     42
Paraphrase     42
Intention     42
Biography     42
Affect     42
Writing a Formalist Analysis     43
Prewriting     43
Drafting and Revising     43
The Introduction     43
The Body     44
The Conclusion     44
Glossary of Terms Useful in Formalist Criticism     45
Suggested Reading     46
Model Student Analysis     46
"Robinson's 'Richard Cory': A Formalistic Interpretation"   Frank Perez     46
Psychological Criticism     49
Historical Background     49
Practicing Psychological Criticism     50
Freudian Principles     51
The Unconscious     52
The Tripartite Psyche     53
The Significance of Sexuality     54
The Importance of Dreams     55
Symbols     56
Creativity     57
Summing up     57
Carl Jung and Mythological Criticism     58
Characters     60
Images     61
Situations     62
Northrop Frye and Mythological Criticism     63
Jacques Lacan: An Update on Freud     63
Character Analysis     65
Antirealism     67
Jouissance     67
Writing Psychological Criticism     67
Prewriting     67
Drafting and Revising     69
The Introduction     69
The Body     69
The Conclusion     71
Glossary of Terms Useful in Psychological Criticism     71
Suggested Reading     72
Model Student Analyses     73
"Water, Sun, Moon, Stars, Heroic Spirit, in Tennyson's 'Ulysses': A Mythological Analysis"   Tiffany N. Speer     73
"Mama Mary and Mother Medusa: A Magic Carpet Ride Through James's Psychical Landscape in Ernest Gaines's 'The Sky Is Gray'"   Rhonda D. Robison     75
Marxist Criticism     86
Historical Background     86
Reading from a Marxist Perspective     88
Economic Power     89
Materialism versus Spirituality     91
Class Conflict     92
Art, Literature, and Ideologies     93
Writing a Marxist Analysis     96
Prewriting     97
Drafting and Revising     97
The Introduction     97
The Body     98
The Conclusion     98
Glossary of Terms Useful in Marxist Criticism     99
Suggested Reading     100
Model Student Analysis     100
"Silence, Violence, and Southern Agrarian Class Conflict in William Faulkner's 'Barn Burning'"   Liberty Kohn     100
Feminist Criticism     104
Historical Background     105
Feminism     105
Queer Theory     111
Reading as a Feminist     114
Studies of Difference     114
Studies of Power     116
Studies of the Female Experience     119
Writing Feminist Criticism      120
Prewriting     121
Drafting and Revising     122
The Introduction     122
The Body     122
The Conclusion     124
Glossary of Terms Useful in Feminist Criticism     124
Suggested Reading     125
Model Student Analysis     126
"The Road from Mother: A Daughter's Struggle"   Cindy Childress     126
Reader-Response Criticism     131
Historical Background     131
Making a Reader's Response     134
Getting Started     134
Interacting with the Text     134
The Text Acts on the Reader     135
The Reader Acts on the Text     137
The Transactional Model     138
Writing a Reader-Response Analysis     140
Prewriting     140
Drafting and Revising     141
The Introduction     141
The Body     142
The Conclusion     142
Glossary of Terms Useful in Reader-Response Criticism     143
Suggested Reading     143
Model Student Analysis     144
"Discovering the Way the World Works: A Reader-Response Analysis of James Joyce's 'Araby'"   Michael Jauchen      144
Deconstruction     150
Historical Background     150
Practicing Deconstruction     156
Making a Deconstructive Analysis     160
Writing a Deconstructive Analysis     165
Prewriting     165
Drafting and Revising     167
The Introduction     167
The Body     167
The Conclusion     168
Glossary of Terms Useful in Understanding Deconstruction     168
Suggested Reading     169
Model Student Analysis     170
"The Blame Game"   Katherine Meister     170
Cultural Studies: New Historicism     173
An Overview of Cultural Studies     173
Assumptions, Principles, and Goals of New Historicism     175
Traditional Historicism     175
New Historicism     176
New Literary Historicism     178
Historical Background     181
Reading as a New Historicist     184
The World of the Author and the Text     185
Discourses in the Text     188
Intentions and Reception     189
Writing a New Historicist Literary Analysis     190
Prewriting      191
Drafting and Revising     191
The Introduction     191
The Body     192
The Conclusion     194
Glossary of Terms Useful in New Historicist Criticism     194
Suggested Reading     195
Model Student Analysis     196
"'You Have Been Warned': New History Telling in Nadine Gordimer's 'Once upon a Time'"   Kevin Murphy     196
More Cultural Studies: Postcolonialism and Multiculturalism     205
Postcolonialism     205
Historical Background     206
Basic Assumptions     209
Reading as a Postcolonialist     210
Presentation of Colonialism     210
Treatment of Characters     211
Validity of the Narrative     212
Expressions of Nativism (Nationalism)     212
Recurring Subjects and Themes     213
Context     214
Minor Characters     215
Political Statement and Innuendo     215
Similarities     216
Glossary of Terms Useful in Postcolonial Studies     216
American Multiculturalism     217
African American Literature     218
Reading as a Multiculturalist     220
Narrative Forms     221
Diction     223
Style     224
Writing a Cultural Studies Analysis     226
Glossary of Terms Useful in American Multiculturalism     227
Suggested Reading     227
Model Student Analyses     228
"Victims Already: Violence and Threat in Nadine Gordimer's 'Once upon a Time'"   Ric Johna     228
"Langston Hughes and the Dream of America"   Wiley Cash     233
Literary Selections     239
Letters of Abigail and John Adams     239
Jill Ker Conway excerpt from The Road from Coorain     242
Featured in Chapter 6     126
William Faulkner "Barn Burning"     253
Featured in Chapter 5     100
Robert Frost "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"     265
Ernest J. Gaines "The Sky Is Gray"     266
Featured in Chapter 4     75
Nadine Gordimer "Once upon a Time"     287
Featured in Chapter 9     196
Featured in Chapter 10     228
Nathaniel Hawthorne "Young Goodman Brown"     291
Featured in Chapter 2     26
Langston Hughes "I, Too"     300
Featured in Chapter 10     233
Langston Hughes "Theme for English B"     301
Featured in Chapter 10     233
Zora Neale Hurston excerpt from The Eatonville Anthology     302
James Joyce "Araby"     311
Featured in Chapter 7     144
Guy de Maupassant "The Diamond Necklace"     315
Featured in Chapter 8     170
Edgar Allan Poe "The Masque of the Red Death"     321
Edwin Arlington Robinson "Richard Cory"     325
Featured in Chapter 3     46
Alfred, Lord Tennyson "Ulysses"     326
Information at a Glance     329
Index     333
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)